What a long day it turned out to be. We said our goodbyes to Shirley and thanked her for a great stay. We also said we would be back. We left the caravan park at 9:47am, and by the time we had emptied the cassette at Moora for the last time it was 9:55am as we drove onto Midland Road.
It was lucky that both of us work at emptying the cassette. I usually open it up and have the hose going by the time that Russ gets the cassette turned upside down. Today, the wheels fell off the cassette and almost disappeared into the dump point, and when Russ opened the plate for air flow and access for the hose, the lid almost disappeared never to be seen again. I managed to save both items before it was too late.
As we started out we commented on how much the countryside has changed in the two weeks we were at Moora. When we arrived the grain crops and canola were still mostly green. Now we are passing
golden paddocks, and in some cases, the contents of the paddocks have already been harvested.
We travelled east until we reached the Great Northern Highway (GNH) and turned south for a short time, then east once more on the way to Wongan Hills. Russ had planned out the route we would take so that we had limited time on the GNH with the trucks but iGO had other plans.
When we left Wongan Hills we turned south on the Northam-Pitharra Road to Goomalling, which was as it should have been. However, once we were out of Goomalling we found ourselves on the way to Meckering on the Goomalling-Meckering Road, not on the continuation of the Northam-Pitharra Road.
Never one to back down from an adventure Russ continued on. As the road was bitumen, and in pretty good condition, I went with the flow.
Once we arrived at Meckering the route we had to take was on the Quellington Road, which got progressively narrower, and narrower. By the last stretch we were on a very old bitumen surface, and it was a blessing that we did not meet any oncoming traffic as there were no edges to the single lane and the vegetation grew right up to the edges of the road surface.
If that wasn’t bad enough, once we turned onto Quellington Road we came to signage about The Earthquake – more about that later. However, when we were back in the car after a stop at the Earthquake Site and on the road again, the Electronic Stability Control (ESC) kept on blinking red and braking the caravan while it tried to acquire a green signal.
It wasn’t the most pleasant feeling to be out in the sticks on a very narrow road experiencing car problems.
We pulled over as best we could and put on the hazard flashers while Russ attempted to fix the problem. He ended up removing the connections between the car and caravan and spraying them with Windex (he had run out of WD40). Thankfully, our guardian angels were on the job, and this worked.
Onwards we continued. As we approached York and now back on the Northam-York Road, I opened Wikicamps and pulled up the Google Map directions to the Traveller’s Rest Caravan Park. Both the phone map and
iGO wanted us to take the Mackie Siding Road. Unfortunately, or perhaps fortunately as it was a narrow gravel road, it was closed off with a sign.
We continued on the Northam-York Road into town and followed the revised directions to the park where we were warmly welcomed by Darlene at 1:45pm.
This park is a stay 7 nights and pay for 6 nights so some of the money we have saved on site fees will pay for the use of the washing machine which is no longer free.
In total we travelled 230 kilometres, left Moora at 205 metres above sea level, rose to 316 metres above sea level at the highest point of the journey, and are now at 172 metres above sea level here at York.
We travelled through predominantly wheat paddocks with an occasional fallow paddock or one with canola just for some variety. The trees are mostly a lot taller although there were some patches of mallee scrub.
I have several favourite road names we passed along the way, The best ones were Kalguddering Road, Byberding Road, Konnongorrong and – best one – Gabby Quoi Quoi Road. It even had a bridge of the same name.
And let’s not forget the town of Goomalling we went through. The name means ‘the Place of Possums’ which can be found on the sign at the entrance.
The Earthquake – On 14 October 1968 at 10:59am Meckering was destroyed by an earthquake measuring 6.9 on the Richter Scale. The quake lasted for 45 seconds and was felt over an area of 700 kilometres in radius and caused damage to many towns.
Twenty people were injured, but miraculously, no deaths occurred.
The quake focus was seven kilometres deep and the force of the quake was equivalent to ten Hiroshima atomic bombs. The greatest land displacement measured a westward heave of 2.44 metres. The southerly slip was 1.54 metres, and the vertical left was 1.98 metres.
The scarp of the fault extends for thirty-seven kilometres, bisecting the Great Eastern Highway 4.4 kilometres west of Meckering.
The fault may be hard to follow at times as it was bulldozed to allow farming to continue. As you look north (when there are no crops growing) the fault can be traced by coloured poles.
By observing the fence line along the side of the road you can see the land has actually moved 2.2 metres. Due to the foresight of the late Mr Merv Reynolds, this segment of the fault had been preserved.
There are additional exhibits at Meckering but as we knew nothing about the Earthquake when we passed through the small the town, we did not stop there.
In the photo I took Russ is standing at the bottom of the uplift. The info board can just be seen on the left-hand side of the photo.